Category Archives: camping and hiking

Great Sand Dunes National Park

The Great Sand Dunes
* http://www.nps.gov/grsa/index.htm *

One of my favorite parts of Colorado is its great diversity in the ranges of the Rocky Mountains. One of those hotspots of “oddity” is the vast Sahara-like desert of sand dunes in the San Luis Valley. Of course California, New Mexico, and Arizona has tons of sand dunes – but Colorado’s is very unique, especially at the foot of snow-covered mountain peaks and being the tallest dunes in the United States. This geologic feature extends 5 x 7 miles with a grand height of 700 feet above the valley floor (over 7,600 feet above sea level). As early as 440,000 years ago, the dunes were formed from the Rio Grande River’s and associated tributaries flowing through the San Luis Valley. Over a period of several thousand years, and continually growing today, the westerly winds blow the sand over the Rockies and down along the river flood plain, collecting sand, and depositing them on the east edge of the San Luis Valley before the winds rise up and over the Sangre de Cristo mountain range shaping these huge stable dunes. There are also some parts of the dunes where patches of black sand can be found made up of magnetite deposits as crystalline iron black oxide. Medano Creek winds through the dunes as it is fed by melting snow from the mountains. It extends roughly 10 miles, flowing from spring and early summer from the Sangre de Cristo Mountains and disappears into the floor of the valley. An unusual feature of the creek is that it never finds a permanent and stable streambed causing small underwater sand dunes that act like dams are continuously formed and destroyed, causing what seems like “surges” with “waves of water” flowing downstream with intervals of a few seconds to a few minutes, and can appear as large as a foot in height with an appearance of an “ocean wave”. The geological area is known as a “High Desert” with summer temperatures not typical of normal high desert lands, varying from high and low temperatures of exceedly cold nights (even below zero). There are also alpine lakes and tundra in the park, with six peaks over 13,000 feet in elevation, ancient spruces, pine forests, aspens, cottonwoods, grasslands, and wetlands. The park is also notated as being the quietest park in the United States. The park, is managed by the National Park Service, and has been a place of enjoyment under their reigns since November 2000 with over 85,000 acres. In 2004 it became known as the “Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve”. It can be reached west from Mosca along country road 6 North, or from the south along CO road 150. The park hosts a great visitor center, a campground, four wheel drive trails, restrooms, and picnic areas. The park is great for hiking, wading, sand castles, sandbox play, sunbathing, sand sledding, rough play, skimboarding, photoshoots, and ATV sports. Rating: 5 stars out of 5. Visited 7/12/2008. 2/16/2017. Review by Thomas Baurley, Leaf McGowan, Leafworks and Technogypsie Research/Review Services.

Great Sand Dunes National Park ( http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=2267); near Alamosa, Colorado. New Life in Colorado: Chronicle 26 – Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf and Prince Cian. Adventures in Colorado. Photos taken February 2017. To read the adventures, visit http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=21965. To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews. All photos and articles (c) 2017 Technogypsie.com – by Leaf McGowan and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved. www.technogypsie.com/photography

Great Sand Dunes National Park ( http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=2267); near Alamosa, Colorado. New Life in Colorado: Chronicle 26 – Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf and Prince Cian. Adventures in Colorado. Photos taken February 2017. To read the adventures, visit http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=21965. To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews. All photos and articles (c) 2017 Technogypsie.com – by Leaf McGowan and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved. www.technogypsie.com/photography
Great Sand Dunes National Park ( http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=2267); near Alamosa, Colorado. New Life in Colorado: Chronicle 26 – Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf and Prince Cian. Adventures in Colorado. Photos taken February 2017. To read the adventures, visit http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=21965. To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews. All photos and articles (c) 2017 Technogypsie.com – by Leaf McGowan and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved. www.technogypsie.com/photography
Great Sand Dunes National Park ( http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=2267); near Alamosa, Colorado. New Life in Colorado: Chronicle 26 – Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf and Prince Cian. Adventures in Colorado. Photos taken February 2017. To read the adventures, visit http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=21965. To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews. All photos and articles (c) 2017 Technogypsie.com – by Leaf McGowan and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved. www.technogypsie.com/photography
Great Sand Dunes National Park ( http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=2267); near Alamosa, Colorado. New Life in Colorado: Chronicle 26 – Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf and Prince Cian. Adventures in Colorado. Photos taken February 2017. To read the adventures, visit http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=21965. To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews. All photos and articles (c) 2017 Technogypsie.com – by Leaf McGowan and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved. www.technogypsie.com/photography
Great Sand Dunes National Park ( http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=2267); near Alamosa, Colorado. New Life in Colorado: Chronicle 26 – Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf and Prince Cian. Adventures in Colorado. Photos taken February 2017. To read the adventures, visit http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=21965. To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews. All photos and articles (c) 2017 Technogypsie.com – by Leaf McGowan and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved. www.technogypsie.com/photography
Great Sand Dunes National Park ( http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=2267); near Alamosa, Colorado. New Life in Colorado: Chronicle 26 – Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf and Prince Cian. Adventures in Colorado. Photos taken February 2017. To read the adventures, visit http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=21965. To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews. All photos and articles (c) 2017 Technogypsie.com – by Leaf McGowan and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved. www.technogypsie.com/photography
Great Sand Dunes National Park ( http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=2267); near Alamosa, Colorado. New Life in Colorado: Chronicle 26 – Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf and Prince Cian. Adventures in Colorado. Photos taken February 2017. To read the adventures, visit http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=21965. To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews. All photos and articles (c) 2017 Technogypsie.com – by Leaf McGowan and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved. www.technogypsie.com/photography
Great Sand Dunes National Park ( http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=2267); near Alamosa, Colorado. New Life in Colorado: Chronicle 26 – Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf and Prince Cian. Adventures in Colorado. Photos taken February 2017. To read the adventures, visit http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=21965. To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews. All photos and articles (c) 2017 Technogypsie.com – by Leaf McGowan and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved. www.technogypsie.com/photography
Great Sand Dunes National Park ( http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=2267); near Alamosa, Colorado. New Life in Colorado: Chronicle 26 – Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf and Prince Cian. Adventures in Colorado. Photos taken February 2017. To read the adventures, visit http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=21965. To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews. All photos and articles (c) 2017 Technogypsie.com – by Leaf McGowan and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved. www.technogypsie.com/photography
Great Sand Dunes National Park ( http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=2267); near Alamosa, Colorado. New Life in Colorado: Chronicle 26 – Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf and Prince Cian. Adventures in Colorado. Photos taken February 2017. To read the adventures, visit http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=21965. To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews. All photos and articles (c) 2017 Technogypsie.com – by Leaf McGowan and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved. www.technogypsie.com/photography
Great Sand Dunes National Park ( http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=2267); near Alamosa, Colorado. New Life in Colorado: Chronicle 26 – Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf and Prince Cian. Adventures in Colorado. Photos taken February 2017. To read the adventures, visit http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=21965. To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews. All photos and articles (c) 2017 Technogypsie.com – by Leaf McGowan and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved. www.technogypsie.com/photography
Great Sand Dunes National Park ( http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=2267); near Alamosa, Colorado. New Life in Colorado: Chronicle 26 – Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf and Prince Cian. Adventures in Colorado. Photos taken February 2017. To read the adventures, visit http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=21965. To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews. All photos and articles (c) 2017 Technogypsie.com – by Leaf McGowan and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved. www.technogypsie.com/photography
Great Sand Dunes National Park ( http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=2267); near Alamosa, Colorado. New Life in Colorado: Chronicle 26 – Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf and Prince Cian. Adventures in Colorado. Photos taken February 2017. To read the adventures, visit http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=21965. To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews. All photos and articles (c) 2017 Technogypsie.com – by Leaf McGowan and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved. www.technogypsie.com/photography
Great Sand Dunes National Park ( http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=2267); near Alamosa, Colorado. New Life in Colorado: Chronicle 26 – Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf and Prince Cian. Adventures in Colorado. Photos taken February 2017. To read the adventures, visit http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=21965. To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews. All photos and articles (c) 2017 Technogypsie.com – by Leaf McGowan and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved. www.technogypsie.com/photography
Great Sand Dunes National Park ( http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=2267); near Alamosa, Colorado. New Life in Colorado: Chronicle 26 – Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf and Prince Cian. Adventures in Colorado. Photos taken February 2017. To read the adventures, visit http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=21965. To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews. All photos and articles (c) 2017 Technogypsie.com – by Leaf McGowan and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved. www.technogypsie.com/photography
Great Sand Dunes National Park ( http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=2267); near Alamosa, Colorado. New Life in Colorado: Chronicle 26 – Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf and Prince Cian. Adventures in Colorado. Photos taken February 2017. To read the adventures, visit http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=21965. To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews. All photos and articles (c) 2017 Technogypsie.com – by Leaf McGowan and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved. www.technogypsie.com/photography
Great Sand Dunes National Park ( http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=2267); near Alamosa, Colorado. New Life in Colorado: Chronicle 26 – Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf and Prince Cian. Adventures in Colorado. Photos taken February 2017. To read the adventures, visit http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=21965. To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews. All photos and articles (c) 2017 Technogypsie.com – by Leaf McGowan and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved. www.technogypsie.com/photography
Great Sand Dunes National Park ( http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=2267); near Alamosa, Colorado. New Life in Colorado: Chronicle 26 – Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf and Prince Cian. Adventures in Colorado. Photos taken February 2017. To read the adventures, visit http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=21965. To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews. All photos and articles (c) 2017 Technogypsie.com – by Leaf McGowan and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved. www.technogypsie.com/photography
Great Sand Dunes National Park ( http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=2267); near Alamosa, Colorado. New Life in Colorado: Chronicle 26 – Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf and Prince Cian. Adventures in Colorado. Photos taken February 2017. To read the adventures, visit http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=21965. To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews. All photos and articles (c) 2017 Technogypsie.com – by Leaf McGowan and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved. www.technogypsie.com/photography
Great Sand Dunes National Park ( http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=2267); near Alamosa, Colorado. New Life in Colorado: Chronicle 26 – Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf and Prince Cian. Adventures in Colorado. Photos taken February 2017. To read the adventures, visit http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=21965. To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews. All photos and articles (c) 2017 Technogypsie.com – by Leaf McGowan and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved. www.technogypsie.com/photography
Great Sand Dunes National Park ( http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=2267); near Alamosa, Colorado. New Life in Colorado: Chronicle 26 – Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf and Prince Cian. Adventures in Colorado. Photos taken February 2017. To read the adventures, visit http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=21965. To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews. All photos and articles (c) 2017 Technogypsie.com – by Leaf McGowan and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved. www.technogypsie.com/photography
Great Sand Dunes National Park ( http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=2267); near Alamosa, Colorado. New Life in Colorado: Chronicle 26 – Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf and Prince Cian. Adventures in Colorado. Photos taken February 2017. To read the adventures, visit http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=21965. To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews. All photos and articles (c) 2017 Technogypsie.com – by Leaf McGowan and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved. www.technogypsie.com/photography
Great Sand Dunes National Park ( http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=2267); near Alamosa, Colorado. New Life in Colorado: Chronicle 26 – Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf and Prince Cian. Adventures in Colorado. Photos taken February 2017. To read the adventures, visit http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=21965. To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews. All photos and articles (c) 2017 Technogypsie.com – by Leaf McGowan and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved. www.technogypsie.com/photography
Great Sand Dunes National Park ( http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=2267); near Alamosa, Colorado. New Life in Colorado: Chronicle 26 – Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf and Prince Cian. Adventures in Colorado. Photos taken February 2017. To read the adventures, visit http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=21965. To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews. All photos and articles (c) 2017 Technogypsie.com – by Leaf McGowan and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved. www.technogypsie.com/photography
Great Sand Dunes National Park ( http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=2267); near Alamosa, Colorado. New Life in Colorado: Chronicle 26 – Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf and Prince Cian. Adventures in Colorado. Photos taken February 2017. To read the adventures, visit http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=21965. To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews. All photos and articles (c) 2017 Technogypsie.com – by Leaf McGowan and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved. www.technogypsie.com/photography
Great Sand Dunes National Park ( http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=2267); near Alamosa, Colorado. New Life in Colorado: Chronicle 26 – Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf and Prince Cian. Adventures in Colorado. Photos taken February 2017. To read the adventures, visit http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=21965. To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews. All photos and articles (c) 2017 Technogypsie.com – by Leaf McGowan and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved. www.technogypsie.com/photography
Great Sand Dunes National Park ( http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=2267); near Alamosa, Colorado. New Life in Colorado: Chronicle 26 – Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf and Prince Cian. Adventures in Colorado. Photos taken February 2017. To read the adventures, visit http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=21965. To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews. All photos and articles (c) 2017 Technogypsie.com – by Leaf McGowan and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved. www.technogypsie.com/photography
Great Sand Dunes National Park ( http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=2267); near Alamosa, Colorado. New Life in Colorado: Chronicle 26 – Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf and Prince Cian. Adventures in Colorado. Photos taken February 2017. To read the adventures, visit http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=21965. To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews. All photos and articles (c) 2017 Technogypsie.com – by Leaf McGowan and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved. www.technogypsie.com/photography
Great Sand Dunes National Park ( http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=2267); near Alamosa, Colorado. New Life in Colorado: Chronicle 26 – Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf and Prince Cian. Adventures in Colorado. Photos taken February 2017. To read the adventures, visit http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=21965. To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews. All photos and articles (c) 2017 Technogypsie.com – by Leaf McGowan and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved. www.technogypsie.com/photography
Great Sand Dunes National Park ( http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=2267); near Alamosa, Colorado. New Life in Colorado: Chronicle 26 – Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf and Prince Cian. Adventures in Colorado. Photos taken February 2017. To read the adventures, visit http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=21965. To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews. All photos and articles (c) 2017 Technogypsie.com – by Leaf McGowan and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved. www.technogypsie.com/photography
Great Sand Dunes National Park ( http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=2267); near Alamosa, Colorado. New Life in Colorado: Chronicle 26 – Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf and Prince Cian. Adventures in Colorado. Photos taken February 2017. To read the adventures, visit http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=21965. To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews. All photos and articles (c) 2017 Technogypsie.com – by Leaf McGowan and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved. www.technogypsie.com/photography
Great Sand Dunes National Park ( http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=2267); near Alamosa, Colorado. New Life in Colorado: Chronicle 26 – Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf and Prince Cian. Adventures in Colorado. Photos taken February 2017. To read the adventures, visit http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=21965. To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews. All photos and articles (c) 2017 Technogypsie.com – by Leaf McGowan and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved. www.technogypsie.com/photography
Great Sand Dunes National Park ( http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=2267); near Alamosa, Colorado. New Life in Colorado: Chronicle 26 – Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf and Prince Cian. Adventures in Colorado. Photos taken February 2017. To read the adventures, visit http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=21965. To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews. All photos and articles (c) 2017 Technogypsie.com – by Leaf McGowan and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved. www.technogypsie.com/photography
Great Sand Dunes National Park ( http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=2267); near Alamosa, Colorado. New Life in Colorado: Chronicle 26 – Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf and Prince Cian. Adventures in Colorado. Photos taken February 2017. To read the adventures, visit http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=21965. To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews. All photos and articles (c) 2017 Technogypsie.com – by Leaf McGowan and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved. www.technogypsie.com/photography
Great Sand Dunes National Park ( http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=2267); near Alamosa, Colorado. New Life in Colorado: Chronicle 26 – Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf and Prince Cian. Adventures in Colorado. Photos taken February 2017. To read the adventures, visit http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=21965. To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews. All photos and articles (c) 2017 Technogypsie.com – by Leaf McGowan and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved. www.technogypsie.com/photography
Great Sand Dunes National Park ( http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=2267); near Alamosa, Colorado. New Life in Colorado: Chronicle 26 – Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf and Prince Cian. Adventures in Colorado. Photos taken February 2017. To read the adventures, visit http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=21965. To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews. All photos and articles (c) 2017 Technogypsie.com – by Leaf McGowan and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved. www.technogypsie.com/photography
Great Sand Dunes National Park ( http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=2267); near Alamosa, Colorado. New Life in Colorado: Chronicle 26 – Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf and Prince Cian. Adventures in Colorado. Photos taken February 2017. To read the adventures, visit http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=21965. To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews. All photos and articles (c) 2017 Technogypsie.com – by Leaf McGowan and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved. www.technogypsie.com/photography
Great Sand Dunes National Park ( http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=2267); near Alamosa, Colorado. New Life in Colorado: Chronicle 26 – Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf and Prince Cian. Adventures in Colorado. Photos taken February 2017. To read the adventures, visit http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=21965. To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews. All photos and articles (c) 2017 Technogypsie.com – by Leaf McGowan and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved. www.technogypsie.com/photography
Campout at the Great Sand Dunes (http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=2267), Colorado. New Life in Colorado: Chronicle 26 – Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf and Prince Cian. Adventures in Colorado. Photos taken August 27, 2017. To read the adventures, visit http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=21965. To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews. All photos and articles (c) 2017 Technogypsie.com – by Leaf McGowan and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved. www.technogypsie.com/photography
Campout at the Great Sand Dunes (http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=2267), Colorado. New Life in Colorado: Chronicle 26 – Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf and Prince Cian. Adventures in Colorado. Photos taken August 27, 2017. To read the adventures, visit http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=21965. To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews. All photos and articles (c) 2017 Technogypsie.com – by Leaf McGowan and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved. www.technogypsie.com/photography
Campout at the Great Sand Dunes (http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=2267), Colorado. New Life in Colorado: Chronicle 26 – Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf and Prince Cian. Adventures in Colorado. Photos taken August 27, 2017. To read the adventures, visit http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=21965. To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews. All photos and articles (c) 2017 Technogypsie.com – by Leaf McGowan and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved. www.technogypsie.com/photography
Campout at the Great Sand Dunes (http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=2267), Colorado. New Life in Colorado: Chronicle 26 – Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf and Prince Cian. Adventures in Colorado. Photos taken August 27, 2017. To read the adventures, visit http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=21965. To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews. All photos and articles (c) 2017 Technogypsie.com – by Leaf McGowan and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved. www.technogypsie.com/photography
Campout and Play time at Colorado’s highest beach – the Great Sand Dunes (http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=2267), Colorado. New Life in Colorado: Chronicle 26 – Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf and Prince Cian. Adventures in Colorado. Photos taken August 28, 2017. To read the adventures, visit http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=21965. To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews. All photos and articles (c) 2017 Technogypsie.com – by Leaf McGowan and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved. www.technogypsie.com/photography
Campout and Play time at Colorado’s highest beach – the Great Sand Dunes (http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=2267), Colorado. New Life in Colorado: Chronicle 26 – Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf and Prince Cian. Adventures in Colorado. Photos taken August 28, 2017. To read the adventures, visit http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=21965. To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews. All photos and articles (c) 2017 Technogypsie.com – by Leaf McGowan and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved. www.technogypsie.com/photography
Campout and Play time at Colorado’s highest beach – the Great Sand Dunes (http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=2267), Colorado. New Life in Colorado: Chronicle 26 – Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf and Prince Cian. Adventures in Colorado. Photos taken August 28, 2017. To read the adventures, visit http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=21965. To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews. All photos and articles (c) 2017 Technogypsie.com – by Leaf McGowan and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved. www.technogypsie.com/photography
Campout and Play time at Colorado’s highest beach – the Great Sand Dunes (http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=2267), Colorado. New Life in Colorado: Chronicle 26 – Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf and Prince Cian. Adventures in Colorado. Photos taken August 28, 2017. To read the adventures, visit http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=21965. To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews. All photos and articles (c) 2017 Technogypsie.com – by Leaf McGowan and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved. www.technogypsie.com/photography
Campout and Play time at Colorado’s highest beach – the Great Sand Dunes (http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=2267), Colorado. New Life in Colorado: Chronicle 26 – Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf and Prince Cian. Adventures in Colorado. Photos taken August 28, 2017. To read the adventures, visit http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=21965. To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews. All photos and articles (c) 2017 Technogypsie.com – by Leaf McGowan and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved. www.technogypsie.com/photography
Campout and Play time at Colorado’s highest beach – the Great Sand Dunes (http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=2267), Colorado. New Life in Colorado: Chronicle 26 – Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf and Prince Cian. Adventures in Colorado. Photos taken August 28, 2017. To read the adventures, visit http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=21965. To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews. All photos and articles (c) 2017 Technogypsie.com – by Leaf McGowan and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved. www.technogypsie.com/photography
Campout and Play time at Colorado’s highest beach – the Great Sand Dunes (http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=2267), Colorado. New Life in Colorado: Chronicle 26 – Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf and Prince Cian. Adventures in Colorado. Photos taken August 28, 2017. To read the adventures, visit http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=21965. To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews. All photos and articles (c) 2017 Technogypsie.com – by Leaf McGowan and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved. www.technogypsie.com/photography
Campout and Play time at Colorado’s highest beach – the Great Sand Dunes (http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=2267), Colorado. New Life in Colorado: Chronicle 26 – Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf and Prince Cian. Adventures in Colorado. Photos taken August 28, 2017. To read the adventures, visit http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=21965. To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews. All photos and articles (c) 2017 Technogypsie.com – by Leaf McGowan and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved. www.technogypsie.com/photography
Campout and Play time at Colorado’s highest beach – the Great Sand Dunes (http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=2267), Colorado. New Life in Colorado: Chronicle 26 – Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf and Prince Cian. Adventures in Colorado. Photos taken August 28, 2017. To read the adventures, visit http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=21965. To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews. All photos and articles (c) 2017 Technogypsie.com – by Leaf McGowan and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved. www.technogypsie.com/photography
Campout and Play time at Colorado’s highest beach – the Great Sand Dunes (http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=2267), Colorado. New Life in Colorado: Chronicle 26 – Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf and Prince Cian. Adventures in Colorado. Photos taken August 28, 2017. To read the adventures, visit http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=21965. To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews. All photos and articles (c) 2017 Technogypsie.com – by Leaf McGowan and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved. www.technogypsie.com/photography

Continue reading Great Sand Dunes National Park

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share

Pagosa Springs, Colorado

Pagosa Springs, Colorado

Come back soon. Article expected to be published by February 20, 2017.

Pagosa Springs, Colorado ( http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=30437, Southwest Colorado, USA. New Life in Colorado: Chronicle 26 – Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf and Prince Cian. Adventures in Colorado. Photos taken February 2017. To read the adventures, visit http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=21965. To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews. All photos and articles (c) 2017 Technogypsie.com – by Leaf McGowan and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved. www.technogypsie.com/photography

Continue reading Pagosa Springs, Colorado

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share

Wolf Creek, Colorado

Wolf Creek, Colorado

Come back soon. Article expected to be published by February 20, 2017.

Wolf Creek, Colorado ( http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=30441) – New Life in Colorado: Chronicle 26 – Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf and Prince Cian. Adventures in Colorado. Photos taken February 2017. To read the adventures, visit http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=21965. To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews. All photos and articles (c) 2017 Technogypsie.com – by Leaf McGowan and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved. www.technogypsie.com/photography

Continue reading Wolf Creek, Colorado

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share

Gingko Tree Petrified Forest (Washington)

Gingko Tree Petrified Forest ( http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=25979). Northern Exposure: Chronicle 24 - Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf  and Prince Cian.  Adventures in Washington. Photos taken March 29, 2016.  To read the adventures, visit  http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=20007.   To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews.  All photos and articles (c) 2015/2016 Technogypsie.com - by Leaf McGowan  and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved.
Gingko Tree Petrified Forest ( http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=25979). Northern Exposure: Chronicle 24 – Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf and Prince Cian. Adventures in Washington. Photos taken March 29, 2016. To read the adventures, visit http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=20007. To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews. All photos and articles (c) 2015/2016 Technogypsie.com – by Leaf McGowan and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved.

Gingko Petrified Forest
Vantage, Washington. http://parks.state.wa.us/288/Ginkgo-Petrified-Forest
Article by Thomas Baurley on 12/3/2016 ~

Enroute to a archaeological survey I was doing, we stopped the night at Wanapum State Park only to discover next door was the GIngko Petrified Forest. What a treasure trove lying within the Washington desert for any paleontology enthusiast. The park is approximately 7,470 acres including over 27,000 along the shoreline of the Wanapum Reservoir on the Columbia River. This petrified forest was once a tropical jungle that after cataclystic events became hardened into stone by volcanic activity and lava during the Miocene Period. It is located right off of Interstate 90. We took a hike along the “Trees of Stone” interpretative Trail, just down the road from the interpretive center. You have the option of the longer 2.5 mile loop or a 1.5 mile loop. Dotted along the trail are metal cages containing in situ various tree stumps and logs that were petrified long ago. There are over 22 species of trees that can be found on the paths. The petrified trees were discovered by a highway crew in 1927 led by geologist George F. Beck. In 1938 the Civilian Conservation Corps completed Beck’s excavations, built a museum here, and opening the park to the public. In 1965 it was designated a National Landmark by the National Park Service.
The interpretative center and museum tells the story of the forest, how it was formed, what life was like when it existed and how it is now. During the Miocene of the Neogene period (15.5 Million years ago), this area was a semi-humid jungle that was affected by volcanic fissures and lava flows that once came across the Columbia Plateau. These flows leveled the landscape that once was here, flattened and encased in basalt rock. During the burial, a chemical transformation converted the wood to stone by process of petrification when the minerals and silica from the volcanic ash mixes with ground water, penetrates and soaks into the wood, and mineralized it enough to make it rock. By the end of the last ice age, the catastrophic Missoula Floods around 15,000 BPE, the basalt was eroded and exposed some of the petrified wood. There are over 50 species found within the park including sweetgum, ginkgo, redwood, douglas fir, walnut, spruce, elm, maple, horse chestnut, cottonwood, magnolia, madroe, sassafras, yew, and witch hazel.

The Wanapum peoples lived in this region from the Columbia River to Beverly Gap onwards to the Snake River. They welcomed the white settlers during Lewis and Clark’s expedition. They used the petrified wood for lithic tools, carved petroglyphs in the basalt cliffs, and lived here by fishing or agriculture.

Nearby is the Wanapum campground for visitors to stay and be able to explore the ground over the course of a few days. Near the Interpretive center is a Gem shop where visitors can buy souvenirs and stones for their collections. There is collecting permitted on Saddle Mountain 14 miles away where collectors can gather up to 25 pounds a day or 250 pounds a year for personal use.

Walnut ( http://www.treeleavesoracle.org/treelore/?p=11050). Gingko Tree Petrified Forest ( http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=25979). Northern Exposure: Chronicle 24 - Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf  and Prince Cian.  Adventures in Washington. Photos taken March 29, 2016.  To read the adventures, visit  http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=20007.   To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews.  All photos and articles (c) 2015/2016 Technogypsie.com - by Leaf McGowan  and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved.
Walnut ( http://www.treeleavesoracle.org/treelore/?p=11050). Gingko Tree Petrified Forest ( http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=25979). Northern Exposure: Chronicle 24 – Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf and Prince Cian. Adventures in Washington. Photos taken March 29, 2016. To read the adventures, visit http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=20007. To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews. All photos and articles (c) 2015/2016 Technogypsie.com – by Leaf McGowan and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved.

Continue reading Gingko Tree Petrified Forest (Washington)

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share

Mount Rainier

Life in the Gorge: Chronicle 22 - Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf, Lady Etain, and Prince Cian.  The Gorge/Columbia River, Oregon-Washington. Photos taken March 19, 2016.  To read the adventures, visit http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=17903.  Hood River: http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=23683; The Dalles:  http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=24107; White Salmon:  http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=23677; Husum: http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=25039; Portland:  http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=281.  To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews.  All photos and articles (c) 2015/2016 Technogypsie.com - by Leaf McGowan, Eadaoin Bineid and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved.
Life in the Gorge: Chronicle 22 – Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf, Lady Etain, and Prince Cian. The Gorge/Columbia River, Oregon-Washington. Photos taken March 19, 2016. To read the adventures, visit http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=17903. Hood River: http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=23683; The Dalles: http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=24107; White Salmon: http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=23677; Husum: http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=25039; Portland: http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=281. To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews. All photos and articles (c) 2015/2016 Technogypsie.com – by Leaf McGowan, Eadaoin Bineid and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved.

Mount Rainier, Washington

One of the largest mountains in North America, Mount Rainier, otherwise known as Mount Tacoma is the highest mountain in the Cascade Range and is an active strato-volcano, also being one of the most dangerous volcanoes in existence. Because of its threat, it is listed on the Decade Volcano list as one of the world’s most dangerous threats. The amount of glacial ice on the volcano could produce massive lahars when she erupts that could destroy the entire Puyallup River valley and destroy Seattle. It is located only 54 miles south-southeast of Seattle that hosts over 3.7 million inhabitants in its area. Mythically, Rainier was known by local tribes as the Goddess “Talol” (Tahoma/Tacoma) as the “Mother of Waters” or “Larger than Mount Baker”. “Rainier” was given by the adventurer navigator George Vancouver to honor his friend Rear Admiral Peter Rainier and was listed on the Lewis & Clark expedition map as “Mt. Regniere”. A national park was established to encompass it as a forest reserve. She can be seen as far away as Corvallis Oregon or Victoria British Columbia on a clear day. There are over 26 major glaciers and 36 square miles of permanent snowfields / glaciers atop Mount Rainier and is the most heavily glaciated peak in the lower 48 states. The summit hosts two volcanic craters, each over 1,000 feet in diameter with the larger east one overlapping the west crater. The craters are free of snow and ice due to the geo-thermal heat coming from within the volcano, forming the world’s largest volcanic glacier cave network within the ice-filled craters and hosting over 2 miles of passages. Mount Rainier start the heads of the Carbon, Mowich, Nisqually, Cowlitz, and Puyallup fed from the glaciers, while other fed glaciers create the White River. Most empty into Puget Sound and the Columbia River. There are three major summits atop Mount Rainier, most notably Columbia Crest, Point Success, and Success Cleaver. The mountain is made up of lava flows, debris flows, and pyroclastic ejecta and flows from past eruptions. The earliest deposits are over 840,000 yeaers old with the current cone being over 500,000 years old. Most of the geological composition is andesite. Past lahars and lava flows had reached Puget Sound in the the past as recent as 5,000 years ago during a major collapse. Her most recent eruptions were between 1820 and 1854, though eruptive activity took place also in 1858, 1870, 1879, 1882, and 1894. She is ready for a major eruption anytime now. She is part of the eastern rim of the Pacific Ring of Fire, nestled with other active volcanoes in the east such as Mount Shasta, Lassen Peak, Crater Lake, Three Sisters, Mount Hood, Mount Saint Helens, Mount Adams, Glacier Peak, Mount Baker, Mount Cayley, Garibaldi, Silverthrone, and Mount Meager. Rainier has up to 5 earthquakes recorded monthly near its summit with swarms of 5-10 shallow earthquakes taking place every 2-3 days from time to time below the summit.

Continue reading Mount Rainier

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share

Olympic National Forest

Sol Duc Hotsprings and Campground (http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=26101). Olympic National Forest and Park: http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=26099. Northern Exposure: Chronicle 24 - Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf, Lady Etain, and Prince Cian.  Adventures in Washington. Photos taken March 26, 2016.  To read the adventures, visit  http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=20007.   To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews.  All photos and articles (c) 2015/2016 Technogypsie.com - by Leaf McGowan, Eadaoin Bineid and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved.
Sol Duc Hotsprings and Campground (http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=26101). Olympic National Forest and Park: http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=26099.

Olympic National Forest
Washington

One of my favorite forests next the the Redwoods is the Olympic National Forest especially the Olympic National Park. However, when I visited in March 2016, it just wasn’t the same. It seemed not in the glorious state I remember. Perhaps it was the wildfires in 2015 that battered it down. Nonetheless, a must visit location for anyone wanting to experience “America”. The Olympic National Forest is located on the Olympic Peninsula, west of Seattle Washington. The park consists of 628,115 acres of preserved rain forest and surrounds the Olympic National Park and its associated mountain range. The landscape varies depending on where in the forest you are, from beaches, salt water fjords, mountain peaks, and of course rain forest (temperate). The forest receives approximately 220 inches of rain each year. It was created as a Olympic Forest Reserve in 1897, then re-named the “Olympic National Forest” in 1907. The extent of its old growth is estimated to be around 266,000 acres (1993 study).

Hoh Rainforerst (http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=26103) - Olympic National Forest and Park: http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=26099. Northern Exposure: Chronicle 24 - Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf, Lady Etain, and Prince Cian.  Adventures in Washington. Photos taken March 26, 2016.  To read the adventures, visit  http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=20007.   To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews.  All photos and articles (c) 2015/2016 Technogypsie.com - by Leaf McGowan, Eadaoin Bineid and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved.
Hoh Rainforerst (http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=26103) – Olympic National Forest and Park: http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=26099. Northern Exposure: Chronicle 24 – Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf, Lady Etain, and Prince Cian. Adventures in Washington. Photos taken March 26, 2016. To read the adventures, visit http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=20007. To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews. All photos and articles (c) 2015/2016 Technogypsie.com – by Leaf McGowan, Eadaoin Bineid and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved.

Photo Gallery Here:
Continue reading Olympic National Forest

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share

Wisteria Campground (Pomeroy, Ohio)

070613-025

Wisteria Campground
* Pomeroy, Ohio * http://www.wisteria.org/ * * info@wisteria.org * 740-742-4302 *

I remember the first time I ventured into the fabled lands of Wisteria. That was for Pagan Spirit Gathering held by Circle Sanctuary back in 2002. Alas, Pagan Spirit Gathering is no longer held here. But just as Starwood was akin to Brushwood, Starwood is now held (and for quite some time) at Wisteria. Wisteria is a great place for nature lovers, naturalists, Pagans, earth spiritualists, and alternative campers. It is also a fabulous site for festivals and events as acclaimed by the infamous festivals held on its grounds. It is a great place for large gatherings or small get-togethers, weddings, music festivals, and spiritual events. They are equipt to handle small groups of just a handful upwards of several thousand participants. Wisteria is set with a grand stage, bonfire circle, hiking trails, a faerie shrine, sacred sites, stone circle, an ancestor mound, a turtle mound, sweat lodge, workshop sites, the permanent setting of Caffeina’s Cosmic Cafe Restaurant and Coffee House, The Green Man Tavern, a swimming pond, a merchant loop, a playground, shower house, and wifi. Groups can rent space in the campground or hold private camping events. Wisteria is managed by itself as well as services of the site to make it an easier place to hold events by organizers. Wisterians are open-minded, professional, and very experienced with events large or small. They will custom tailor their event services to the festival organizer’s needs.

071213-026

Continue reading Wisteria Campground (Pomeroy, Ohio)

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share

Brushwood Folklore Center (Sherman, New York)

070113-033
Brushwood Folklore Center, Sherman, New York

Brushwood Folklore Center
* http://www.brushwood.com/ * * 8881 Bailey Hill Rd. * Sherman New York * 14781 * 716-761-6750 * camp@brushwood.com *

One of my favorite campsites and festival grounds is Brushwood Folklore Center, nestled in upstate New York. A rustic wooded retreat on over 180 wooded acres outside of Sherman, New York in rural Chautauqua County. A clothing optional campground and resort focused on creativity, community, and spirituality. A great place to relax, become one with nature or with others, or to be part of the fabulous festivals held year round including bonfires, drumming, dancing, swimming, and soaking in the hot tub. The grounds are full of lots of temples, sanctuaries, altars, and sacred spaces where various groups host numerous rites and rituals every year. Family and community run since 1970, Brushwood is a family and community oriented campground.

070113-089
Brushwood Folklore Center, Sherman, New York

The campgrounds have seasonal campground sites, co-ed showers, flush toilets, a swimming pool, and two hot tubs. There are three covered pavilions near main camping, lots of outdoor space for workshops, lectures, ceremonies, and performances. An heated indoor lodge for year-round use and heated indoor sleeping areas for over a dozen visitors. Camping fees are only $10 /night (2013 rates) with day passes at $6/day until 6 pm. The heated indoor lodging (dorm-style trailer) is $15/night – all per person. On occasion, potluck dinners are held to promote opportunities for community to meet and share meals together. Home to numerous annual festivals, some of the famous festivals like Starwood in the past, now Summerstar, Sirius Rising, Wellspring, and many other events each year. Rating: 5 stars out of 5.

070113-046
Brushwood Folklore Center, Sherman, New York

070113-040
Brushwood Folklore Center, Sherman, New York

Continue reading Brushwood Folklore Center (Sherman, New York)

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share

Santeetlah Lake, NC

photos 12/24/12 042-052

Santeetlah Lake
Santeetlah Lake

Near the historic Smokey Mountains, in Graham County, North Carolina, is a small town built along the shores of Lake Santeetlah. The town and lake share the name. Boasting a population of approximately 67 (census 2000), the town has approximately 200 residences. Santeetlah is located approximately 6 miles north of Robbinsville and only 15 miles from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The lake is surrounded by the Nantahala National Forest. The area is a resort community. Established in 1989 as “Santeetlah”, it was changed to “Lake Santeetlah” in 1999. Originally hunting grounds by various Native American tribes, the area was settled very late by westerners. The area was one of the last sections of the eastern United States to be settled by Europeans. A Detroit native named Kenneth S. Keyes, Sr. found the area and exchanged with the Forest service some land he had held for the area and this was then built into the town of Lake Santeetlah. The originally called the property “Thunderbird Estates” with a dream of building a large hotel complex in the area. He never built, and in 1958 he sold the property to another Florida land developer, and from there it went through a couple of exchanges. By the early 1960’s – Smoky Mountain Resorts built a lodge and some cabins here offering much recreation for those seeking a vacation escape. Always short on funding, the resort fell through various ups and downs, until 1971 when it was sold to W. Bennett Collette. Battles, disputes, and law suits flooded the area over a variety of grievances by owners and residents, becoming resolved by the late 1990’s. The lake is popular by outdoor recreationists who fish bass, walleye, crappie, lake trout, and bream in its waters. The Marina on the lake is the only full-serviced marina on a lake that has 76 miles of shoreline. Around the lake is home to over 200 miles of hiking trails, and area known for swimming, camping, hiking, boating, and picnicking.

Smokey Mountains, North Carolina, USA

Continue reading Santeetlah Lake, NC

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share

Fontana Village Resort

Fontana Village Resort
Fontana Village Resort

Fontana Village Resort
* http://www.fontanavillage.com/ * Fontana Village Resort | 300 Woods Road • P.O. Box 68 | Fontana Dam, North Carolina 28733 * Phone: 828.498.2211 *

We were seeking an escape to the mountains and while this time of year the blue ridge parkway had segments shut down, we ventured via main roads to the Smoky Mountains National Park. On advise from a co-worker, we settled in on the “Fontana Village Resort” which was running a special lodging rate, and decided to check it out. We checked into the “Willow cabins”. Nothing more than manufactured houses in cabin style, with a porch and rocking chairs, a nice living room, kitchen, bathroom, and bedroom … we settled in for the afternoon. Check-in was easy, and it was peaceful and quiet for the stay. The resort was pretty empty, as winter was upon us as well as the holidays calling others to family gatherings. Still there were families out venturing to collect firewood. Our cabin however did not have a fire place. no phone, just basic tv. While it didn’t advertise a wifi signal, one drifted in and out sporadically for us to stay in touch with the outside world. Given it was winter, the resort had many of its facilities shut down … including the convenience store (only open 9 am til 1 pm – and we arrived at 4 pm), grocery store, and other restaurants except for the main lodge. Closest grocery run was a town 30 minutes drive each way. With the rain that hovered over us, we couldn’t participate in many of the outdoor activities the resort offers – but it looked like a great array of choices to choose from. We just enjoyed the solitude. We’d stay again for sure. Rating: 4 stars out of 5.

Continue reading Fontana Village Resort

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share

Fontana Lake (Smokey Mountains, North Carolina)

Fontana Lake
* Smokey Mountains National Park, Fontana Dam, North Carolina *

Named after the Italian word for “fountain”, Fontana Lake is named after the flooded town of Fontana, which was the Smokey Mountains infamous lumber and copper-mining hub back in the day at the mouth of Eagle Creek. Now a reservoir contained by Fontana Dam on the Little Tennessee River. The lake creates the southern boundary of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, separating it from the Nantahala National Forest. The depth, length, and width of the lake varies with the seasons and flood controls by the dam, but at its greatest containment measures approximately 17 miles long with a maximum elevation of approximately 1,710 feet above sea level. The lake is measured as being over 10,230 acres. The lake houses many inlets, coves, and islands formed from former mountain peaks from when it was land, especially by the eastern edge. Many hiking trails weave their ways around the lake, and the lake itself gives access to some of the more remote areas of the National Park. The apalachian trail crosses the top of the dam. Fontana Dam, the tallest dam in the eastern U.S., is a hydro-electric dam along the Little Tennessee River that manages the lake and its levels. This was built in the 1940’s.

Cheoah Lake/River/Dam, Fontana Dam, NC

Continue reading Fontana Lake (Smokey Mountains, North Carolina)

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share

Congaree National Park (Columbia, South Carolina)

020113-001

Congaree National Park
100 National Park Road, Hopkins, SC 29061 * Phone: (803) 783-4241 * (outside of Columbia, South Carolina) * http://www.nps.gov/cong/ *

One of the natural attractions to Columbia, South Carolina is the infamous Congaree National Park which preserves the largest tract of old growth bottom land hardwood forest that remains left in the United States. The Park is nicknamed the “Home of Champions” for its age-old hardwood trees. The park offers views of an astonishing bio-diversity along the waters from the Congaree river and the Wateree rivers throughout their flood plains. The park consists of just over 26,500 acres of national park designated as such since 2003 for some of the tallest trees leftin the Eastern United States. The Congaree river flows through the park which is dotted with wooden walkways for hikers, bird watchers, and nature enthusiasts to come enjoy the woodlands and not get mucked up in the swamps and to protect the environment which is 57 percent designated wilderness area. The Park declares itself a National Designated Wilderness Area, an International Biosphere Reserve, National Natural Landmark, and a Globally Important Bird area. The park offers primitive campsites (for free), hiking trails, canoeing, kayaking, and bird watching activities. The park is inhabited by numerous wildlife ranging from a variety of fish such as bowfin, largemouth bass, panfish, and catfish onwards to alligators, snakes, feral dogs, coyotes, armadillos, turkeys, bobcat, deer, feral pigs, turtles, opossum, raccoon, and a plethera of different bird species. The Park is notable for its Bald Cypress, the tallest/largest Loblolly Pines alive today, and hardwood tree spectrum. Some of its more famous hiking trails are the Weston Lake Loop Trail (4.6 miles), Oakridge Trail (7.5 miles), King Snake Trail (11.1 miles), and the Bluff Trail (.7 miles). The Park is home to the Harry Hampton Visitor’s Center, elevated 2.4 miles of boarded walkways, and a 20 mile long marked canoe trail.

Home of a variety of plants and animals. Some researched/photographed by us as follows:

020113-011

Continue reading Congaree National Park (Columbia, South Carolina)

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share

Busáras Luggage Storage (Dublin)

Busáras Locker Storage – Dublin
* Busáras * 1 Store Street * Dublin, Ireland *

With terrorism paranoia on the rampage in this world, one of the biggest side effects is the diminishing options for storing your luggage when travelling, especially as a backpacker. (Though internet cafes and hostels pick up some of that slack) Luckily, if you’re a backpacker in Dublin, there is a centrally located locker depot in the Busáras station in the heart of Dublin with decent rates. Its only a few minutes away from O’Connolly Street. Storage lockers are in the basement.

Continue reading Busáras Luggage Storage (Dublin)

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share

Gibraltar Falls, ACT, Australia

Gibraltar Falls
* Corin Road * Namadgi National Park * +61 02 6207 2900 * Canberra, Australia Capital Territory, Australia *

One of the first waterfalls that I had a chance to see in Australia as accompanied by my travel mate Bluey Bee Fabbo. A nice calm overcast day, we ventured outskirts of Canberra to find this charming little falls which is pretty close to the city. Easy to find, one drives out of Canberra southwest 45 kilomenters, along highway 5 – “Tidbinbilla Road”, roughly a half hour drive turning off at the sign pointing the way to the Falls within the Gibraltar Creek Pine Forest south off Corin Road. Park and take the well-marked footpath down to the falls. With warnings of steep cliffs abound, we kept to the trail, until the end of the path dictated (as everyone else was venturing over) to experience the waters ourselves. Now, being a world traveller and having seen some of the best falls around the world, I wasn’t that impressed. It also seems probable that the falls are more spectacular after a good hearty rainfall, even though it has been deemed the largest waterfall in the ACT. The falls cascade 50 meters down into a 800 meter granite walled gorge feeding the headwaters of Gibraltar Creek.

Historically, the falls and area was of special interest to the Australian Aborigine. Archaeological finds have shown habitation patterns near the falls including rockshelters, axes, lithics, and grinding grooves. The area was first settled by white westerners in the 1890’s. The first recorded white settlers were the Woods family who named the area “Gibraltar Creek”. It wasn’t until the 1960’s with the establishment of a station for the Corin Dam Road that the location found much foot traffic. Environmentally, the falls are home to a rare species of dragonfly called the Waterfall Redspot.

Atop in the parking lot are restrooms, picnic tables, shelters, amenities, first aid equipment, and gas barbeque grills. There are more picnic tables and areas, as well as camping, further into the woods reserves. The footpath takes one to a couple lookouts for viewing the falls, though the best way to photograph the falls is to wander off path (not recommended but seems something that everyone who visits does).

I found the waterfall quaint, and would be a picnic spot I would frequent often if I lived in Canberra. Rating: 2 stars out of 5. Visited/Reviewed by Thomas Baurley, Leaf McGowan with Bluey Bee Fabbo on April 25, 2011.

For more information, recommended readings, and photographs ~
Continue reading Gibraltar Falls, ACT, Australia

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share

Bittangee Bay Storage Ruins

Bittangee Bay Storehouse Ruins * Bittangee Bay/Ben Boyd National Forest
New South Wales, Australia

Just below the campground at Bittangee Bay/Ben Boyd National Forest lies the relatively hidden Bittangabee Bay ruins. An area used for over 6,000 by the indigenous as a “secret men’s meeting and training place” the park has been a popular hotspot for camping. These stone ruins were created however by the first European settlers to the area as a “storehouse” for fishing, building, and industry. The ruins date to about 1844 and were originally believed to be of Portugese origin. In 1977, this was disproved by historian Michael Pearson. It is the only standing structure left within 6 kilometers of the beach house and light house. It housed the supplies for the Green Cape Lighthouse as dropped off by ships bringing in goods to the bay. Eventually it was replaced by a 7 kilometer long wooden tramway through the woods to the lighthouse from this spot so building of the lighthouse could be properly achieved. Supplies were pulled along this trolley by horses from 1880 to 1927.

Continue reading Bittangee Bay Storage Ruins

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share

Bittangabee Bay/Ben Boyd National Forest

Bittangee Bay/Ben Boyd National Forest
New South Wales, Australia

A refreshing break from the metropolis of Melbourne, me and my travel mate Sir Bluey, headed off for some camping along the infamous “Bittangee Bay” in the Ben Boyd National Forest. A unpaved dirt road led us to this amazing campground overlooking Australia’s rugged South Coast. In fact, we had quite an adventure with it that you can read about here. This small picturesque bay is located on a remote rugged coastline just south of Eden in New South Wales of Australia and is one of the few safe harbours in the area between Twofold Bay, Mallacoota Inlet, and Eden making it a popular night stopover for boaters travelling inbetween for the night. The campground is rugged as well to match the Bay in its entirety. The campground is serviced by the National Parks and Wildlife Service. The Bay is also home to the “Bittangabee Bay Ruins” which the campground is above. The Bay and the camping area was once used by the Yuin Nation and the Thaua people as a important camping and teaching grounds for indigenous “secret business” and was seen as a “men’s area”. On the other side of Green Cape to Bittangabee Bay was believed to be the resting place of the Rainbow Serpent. They utilized the area for over 6,000 years until the Europeans started taking over the bay for construction of the lighthouse, fishing, and industry. At this time, the Bay was known as “Pertangerbee” and by European occupation with constructions of the the storehouse in 1844, was later called “Bittangee Bay”. The Campground also has a nice hiking trail to the Green Cape lighthouse as well as down along the beach of the Bay. Lots of wildlife in the area – our 24 hour visit blessed us with seeing kangaroo, wallabee, wombats, and oppossums. Highly recommended place to camp. Rating: 5 stars out of 5.

Continue reading Bittangabee Bay/Ben Boyd National Forest

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share

Leatherbarrel Creek

Leatherbarrel Creek
Mt. Kosciouszko, New South Wales, Australia

Along the highway of “Alpine Way” heading from Thredbo to Albury lies a nice little picnic and camping area called “Leather Barrel Creek”. It hosts over 10 campsites and is accessible by sealed roads. GPS: Latitude 36° 31? 32.52″ S; Longitude 148° 11? 34.8″ E. Nice wading stream, great for fishing, and some hiking. Camping at this site is a first come, first serve basis and is a “free” camping site. ($16 vehicle cost to enter the park) The site is located in a lovely little valley along the creekside. Toilets are available, as well as picnic tables. There are no showers or drinking water accessible on site. Rating: 2.5 stars out of 5.

Continue reading Leatherbarrel Creek

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share

Thredbo

Thredbo
New South Wales, Australia

In the heart of the Snowy Mountains lies the sportsman’s paradise known as “Thredbo Village” – a pseudo-skiier’s paradise and resort town. A small town of approximately 450+ inhabitants, the resort can sleep over 4,000. Thredbo has the longest and most easily accessible ski runs in Australia where it boasts of over 700,000 winter enthusiasts a year. During the summer season, it is a hotspot of activity for hikers, rock climbers, fishers, and cross country cyclists. Each year it has a Blue’s festival during the summer months. Originally the town was developed as a place to live during the construction of the Snowy Mountain’s Hydro Elecric Scheme. It is modelled after most European ski resorts where the town meets the slopes. It boasts 14 lifts, over 50 ski runs, and has the steepest overall terrain in all of mainland Australia with the highest lift point with slopes ranging from green to blue to black diamond. Village has a free shutle bus service to link the resort with the lodges, the Valley Terminal, and Friday Flat. In 1997 a major landslide killed 18 people in Thredbo when the Bimbadeen and Carinya lodges collapsed.

Continue reading Thredbo

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share

Columbia River

Columbia River

The Columbia River was named after Captain Robert Gray’s ship, the “Columbia Rediviva”. It is also called the “Big River”, “The River of the West”, or “River Oregon”. It flows through Canada in British Columbia, and in the U.S. through the States of Washington and Oregon. Its tributaries are the Spillimacheen River, Beaver River, Illecillewaet River, Incomappleux River, Kootenay River, Pend Oreille River, Spokane River, Snake River, John Day River, Deschutes River, Willamette River, Kicking Horse River, Blaeberry River, Canoe River, Kettle River, Sanpoil River, Okanogan River, Wenatchee River, Yakima River, Lewis River, Kalama River, and Cowlitz River. It is the drainage from the source of “Columbia Lake” in British Columbia. It drains an area of approximately 258,000 square miles including drainage basins from Idaho, British Columbia, Oregon, Washington, and small portions of Montana, Wyoming, Utah, and Nevada. Its median elevation is 2,690 feet above sea level and flows into the Pacific Ocean. IT is the largest river in the Pacific Northwest region of North America rising in the Rocky Mountains of British Columbia flowing northwest and then south through Washington and Oregon into the Pacific. It is 1,243 miles long. It is the fourth-largest river in the United States and powers over 14 hydroelectric dams. The river historically has been used for trade, transportation, exploration, and economy for thousands of years. Its first recorded inhabitation was more than 15,000 years ago transitioning from hunting and gathering to sedentary lifestyles along the river based mainly on salmon ca. 3,500 years ago. Skeletal remains of the Kennewick Man aged at over 9,000 years ago, were found along the Columbia River sparking debate about origins of human habitation in North America. Many Native Americans inhabit the river valleys including the Sinixt, Lakes, Secwepemc, Ktunaxa, Blackfoot, Colville, Spokane, Coeur d’Alene, Yakama, Nez Perce, Cayuse, Palus, Umatilla, Cowlitz, Chinook, Shoshone Bannock, Nch’ i-Wana, Sahaptin, and the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs. There was once a land bridge called the “Bridge of the Gods” connecting Oregon and Washington across the Columbia River Gorge that has alot of mythology over its formation and destruction. It was believed to be from a battle between the Gods represented by Mount Adams and Mount Hood and their competition for the affection of the Goddess represented by Mount St. Helens. The bridge originally permitted increased interaction between tribes on the north and south sides of the river until its destruction.

American Stonehenge and the Columbia River Valley, Washington.  11/16/15. Chronicles 20: Exploring Oregon/Idaho border lands. October-November 2015. Photographs by Eadaoin and Thomas Baurley, Leaf McGowan, Technogypsie Productions. www.technogypsie.com/photography.  Reviews: www.technogypsie.com/reviews.  Chronicle tales: http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=16903www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/  American Stonehenge: http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=7629 Columbia River http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=1151
American Stonehenge and the Columbia River Valley, Washington. 11/16/15. Chronicles 20: Exploring Oregon/Idaho border lands. October-November 2015. Photographs by Eadaoin and Thomas Baurley, Leaf McGowan, Technogypsie Productions. www.technogypsie.com/photography. Reviews: www.technogypsie.com/reviews. Chronicle tales: http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=16903www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/
American Stonehenge: http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=7629
Columbia River http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=1151


Columbia River

Continue reading Columbia River

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share

Farish Military Recreation Area

Farish Recreation Area

* Farish Recreation Area, P.O. Box 146 * Woodland Park, Colorado * 80866-0146 * (719) 687-9098 * http://www.usafaservices.com/the-great-outdoors/farish *

A USAF Academy Military Recreation Area just outside of Woodland Park, Colorado with 655 acres of alpine mountains and meadows fit with hiking trails, lakes, picnic areas, cabins, and a campground with over 35 sites. Farish has campsites open from May through October every year for Active Military, National Guard, Reservists, Retired, 100% DAV, and DoD Civilians ONLY. It is year-round for lodging cabins and day-use. Elevation is over 9,000 feet above sea level. To reach the recreation area, Take I-25 to Colorado Springs on exit 141. Travel west on Hwy 24 for 17 miles to Woodland Park. At second stoplight near McDonalds, turn right onto Baldwin (street name changes to Rampart Range Road). Follow road through four stop signs. Road forks just past water-treatment facility, turn right and follow the Farish signs. Approx. 2 miles after the intersection, turn left onto Loy Creek Road and follow the signs to the new entrance into Farish. Facility is 5.5 miles past stoplight at McDonalds. Large rigs and RVs will have difficulty reaching the recreation area and not intended for that use. All interior roads are dirt and are quite steep. Rating: 4 stars out of 5.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share

Glenariff Forest Park

Glenariff Forest Park
Antrim, Northern Ireland

One of Northern Ireland’s enchanted woodlands … Glenariff Forest Park is full of myth and legends, faeries, and woodland creatures. It is home to a unique Waterfall Walkway that was introduced to tourists 80 years ago and significantly upgraded along its 3 mile length that passes through a National Nature Reserve. The park is a photographer’s paradise. It houses a visitor center, exhibition, interactive display, a gift shop, caravan/camping sites, and a seasonal restaurant complimenting the Park called “Gateway to the Glens”. The park is a 2,928 acre forest in County Antrim of Northern Ireland that is managed by the Northern Ireland Forest Service. The forest is also utilized for timber production centered around the clearfelling of coniferous plantation trees.

According to some myths and legends, the legendary warrior/poet Oisin (Ossian/Son of the giant Fin McCool) had once tried to outrun a band of Vikings in this forest. When they closed in on him, he climbed down a steep gully, as just as he was about to plunge to his death, a mysterious grey rope-like column appeared, he grabbed on to it, and climbed up to safety. When he reached the top he found it to be the tail of a white horse grazing in the field above. He thanked the horse and asked for its help. She turned into a mountain mist, falling to the ground as water, thereby washing away the Norsemen who pursued him. This is now the waterfall in the park known as the “Grey Mare’s Tail”. (myth as told from Causeway Coast and Glens Myths Tour).

.

Continue reading Glenariff Forest Park

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share

Colliford Lake

Colliford Lake
Bodmin Moor, Bodmin, Cornwall, United Kingdom

I had the pleasure of visiting legendary Colliford Lake this summer as it was the mystical location of the Three Wishes Faerie Festival. Colliford Lake is a popular reservoir on the Bodmin Moor in mystical Cornwall. It covers over 900 acres of land and is the second largest lake in Cornwall. Right off the A30 trunk by Bolventor it is also close to Bodmin. A 50 acre adventure and nature park called “Colliford Lake Park” is along its shores featuring hiking and themed trails, footpaths, play areas, mazes, miniature golf course, wetlands, picnic and camping areas. THere is also lodging, a restaurant, bar, and a cafe. Colliford Lake is home to the mythological headwaters of “Dozmary Pool” where the Lady of the Lake is believed to have bestowed King Arthur with Excalibur. The pool is located south the A30 a mile or so down a twisty lane that begins across from the infamous Jamaica Inn at Bolventor winding its way into the Bodmin Moor where the legendary Beast is believed to roam. The legend states that King Arthur’s sword “Excalibur” was hurled into the pool only to reappear held up by a ghostly arm of the “Lady of the Lake” before disappearing beneath the dark surface. While the pool has dried completely up during very hot summers, the locals claim it is bottomless.

Continue reading Colliford Lake

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share

Snowshoeing at Mueller State Park (Colorado)


Mueller State Park, Colorado

Snow-Shoeing at Mueller State Park, Colorado
Mueller State Park, Colorado
http://parks.state.co.us/parks/mueller/

Just down the road from the infamous mining and gambling town of Cripple Creek as well as ‘Divide’ Colorado is a 5,112 acre tract Colorado State Park called “Mueller State Park”. This wonderful Park boasts over 55 miles of trails for hiking, biking, and snoe showing. THe Park is also notorious for horseback riding, camping year-round, hunting, snow-shoeing, sledding, snowtubing, and cross country skiing. Mueller is home to the black bear, eagles, hawks, Bighorn Sheep, and Elk amongst many other critters. The park has over 132 campsites, 16 of which are open for winter camping. There are also 3 cabins for rent year-round. Pets are welcomed in the campgrounds, picnic areas, and along the park’s roads, but not on the hiking trails. Average park elevation is 9,600 feet above sea level. All trails are for hiking and snow shoeing, while there are 27 miles available for horseback riding and 19 miles for mountain biking. Stunning views.

I visited this park on March 28th (2010) for my 2nd day of my virgin snow shoeing experience and found this Park and its trails, even in March, to be most excellent for snow sports especially snow shoeing. I took a nice 3 mile jaunt down Elk Meadow and very pleased with the scenery, trail, and terrain. The snow and trail was perfect. I will definitely be back. Snow shoeing is a type of footwear for walking over snow by distributing equally a person’s weight so one doesn’t sink into the snow. Rating: 5 stars out of 5.


Mueller State Park, Colorado

Continue reading Snowshoeing at Mueller State Park (Colorado)

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share

Mueller State Park (Colorado)


Mueller State Park, Colorado

Mueller State Park, Colorado
http://parks.state.co.us/parks/mueller/

Just down the road from the infamous mining and gambling town of Cripple Creek as well as ‘Divide’ Colorado is a 5,112 acre tract Colorado State Park called “Mueller State Park”. This wonderful Park boasts over 55 miles of trails for hiking, biking, and snoe showing. THe Park is also notorious for horseback riding, camping year-round, hunting, snow-shoeing, sledding, snowtubing, and cross country skiing. Mueller is home to the black bear, eagles, hawks, Bighorn Sheep, and Elk amongst many other critters. The park has over 132 campsites, 16 of which are open for winter camping. There are also 3 cabins for rent year-round. Pets are welcomed in the campgrounds, picnic areas, and along the park’s roads, but not on the hiking trails. Average park elevation is 9,600 feet above sea level. All trails are for hiking and snow shoeing, while there are 27 miles available for horseback riding and 19 miles for mountain biking. Stunning views. Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5.


Mueller State Park, Colorado


Mueller State Park, Colorado

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share

Fort Carson Recreation Center (Fort Carson, Colorado)

Fort Carson Recreation Center

* http://www.mwrfortcarson.com/recreation-and-sports.php * Equipment Checkout Center * Building 2429, Specker Avenue * Fort Carson, Colorado * 80913 * Phone: 526-1993 * Fax: 524-3211 * Hours of Operation: Tuesday-Friday 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday: 8 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Closed on Sunday, Monday, and all federal holidays. *

A great and affordable service center for the outdoor recreationist who has a military connection. Available to service DoD military personnel and families, civilians, and contractors – this fabulous resource is open through the week tuesdays through saturdays with a nice small-scale REI-styled equipment shop and full scale equiptment rental office. They offer at downright cheap prices amazing service and the gear you need for any outdoor adventure – skis, snowboards, snowshoes, bicycles, sports equipment (softball kits, soccer balls, basket balls, tennis rackets, etc.) entertainment, party & event equipment (including dunk tanks, inflatable Jump castles and slides) camping, hunting & fishing equipment, all season equipment (grills, pig roasters, coolers, banquet tables & chairs), flat bed utility trailers, pop-up A-frame campers, bass type fishing boats, pontoon boats & canoes. I’ve used them twice to this date – for skis over a weekend ($26 for boots, skis, and poles covered from friday through tuesday) and snowshoes & poles ($12 for saturday-tuesday). Quick, efficient, and well laid out. The staff is extremely helpful and friendly. As long as I’m working for the military, I’ll be using them. Rating: 5 stars out of 5.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share

Cheyenne Mountain State Park (Colorado Springs, Colorado)


Park Information Center

Cheyenne Mountain State Park
* http://parks.state.co.us/Parks/CheyenneMountain/ * Highway 115 across from Fort Carson Gate 1 * Colorado Springs, Colorado *
Colorado’s newest State Park, Cheyenne Mountain State Park took over the lands of the old JL Ranch that is nestled in the foothills of Cheyenne Mountain right in front of NORAD. It is roughly 1,680 acres large. It was acquired in June of 2000 by the City of Colorado Springs, Colorado State parks, Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO), the Colorado Lottery, El Paso County, and other local private organizations. It represents protection of one of the last significant open spaces along the southern section of the Colorado Front Range. The environments consist of open space of the eastern flank of Cheyenne Mountain and the borders of Colorado’s plains covering the wide variety of landscape, wildlife, botany, and geology the transitional panorama offers. Wildlife consists of deer, elk, mountain lions, black bears, coyotes, foxes, wild turkeys, prairie dogs, red-tailed hawks, and golden eagles. The park first opened in October of 2006 and is currently El Paso county’s only State Park. The Park hosts over 20 miles of trails open to hikers and bikers. Dogs and horses are not permitted since many ground-nesting birds are in the area. The Park has a large information center, gift shop, educational displays, interpretive programs, campgrounds, picnic areas, playgrounds, evening programs, nature hikes, restrooms, and a camp office/store. Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5. Visited 1/8/2010; 1/10/2010; 1/18/2010.

Continue reading Cheyenne Mountain State Park (Colorado Springs, Colorado)

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share

Punalu’u Black Sand Beach


Punalu’u Beach

Punalu’u Black Sand Beach
Punalu’u, Big Island, Hawaii
One of the most famous beaches on Big Island is the Punalu’u Black Sand Beach. It is the most expansive and accessible stretch of black sand beach on the island. Tourists from all over come here to see the sand, the sea turtles, and to snorkel/dive. Located right off Hwy 11, Ninole loop road off the entrance to Sea Mountain Resort, in the Puna district south of Hilo, between Pahala and na’alehu. Most famous for the Hawaiian Green Sea turtles that frequent the beach as much as the tourists. Endangered species – they are protected as much as the sand that is made of basalt and created by lava flowing into the ocean that explodes when it reaches the ocean and cools. Don’t touch or disturb the turtles and take no sand. The waters are protected by the small cove embracing the beach. There is a large paved parking lot with full facilities. Swimming area is very rocky, best to be careful as it is dangerous grounds. Beach has alot of underground fresh water flowing into it which is very cold. Legends have it that the early inhabitants would dive underwater with a jug to get fresh water. Other local legends warn of taking the sand or the rocks from the beach – for if one does, they will be cursed by the Goddess Pele until it is returned. (Myth may have been generated by 30 year Park Service veteran Russ Apple who was restoring Hawaiian cultural resources in the parks) Evidence of shifts of the use of the beach area by indigenous peoples vary through time. Monumental architecture in forms of large heiau complexes (ritual centers) speak to the powers of na ali’i (chiefs) and the social stratification of the ancient Ka’u district. Camping is permitted at the Beach Park.


Punalu’u Beach

Continue reading Punalu’u Black Sand Beach

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share

Volcano National Park


Big Island

Volcano National Park
Volcano, Big Island, Hawaii
One of Hawaii’s most notorious and famous National Parks, “Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park” was established in 1916 as a National Park, a International Biosphere Reserve in 1980, and a World Heritage Site in 1987 to demonstrate the history and living geological experiene of volcanism, geology, and techtonics. It covers the creative process of land masses, the science of volcanoes, migration, and evolution of land from the sea. It also covers the complex history of Polynesian travellers and their inhabitation of the Hawaiian Islands. The protective boundaries of the world’s most active volcanoes – Kilauea and Mauna Loa provides dramatic and creative volcanic landscapes in action. The National Park encompasses over 520 square miles of land for science, outdoor recreation, and preservation of nature and geology. It is a thriving mecca for observation, tourism, scientific study, hiking, and camping opportunities covering diverse environments ranging from the ocean/beach landscapes, lush tropical rainforests, arrid/barren deserts, and icy mountainous peaks. It hosts active volcanic eruption sites such as the Kilauea Caldera, Pu’u ‘O’o vent, and the Eastern Rift Zone. Historically, Kilauea and the Halema’uma’u caldera were considered the sacred home of Pele and traditionally were the location of offerings/sacrifices of gifts to the Goddess. A 1970 explosive eruption demolished a war party in the area killing men, women, and children leaving imprints of footprints in the lava that can be found in the desert. The first European visitors to the volcano were English missionaries William Ellis and American Asa Thurston in 1823 contributing greatly to the written word, publications, poems, literature and art that focused on the area that is now a National Park. More tourists were attracted to the area in the 1840’s settling entrepreneurs building hotels in the area from 1891 to 1904. In 1903, William R. Castle proposed the idea of making a park out of the area. In 1908 Thurston entertained James Rudolph Garfield, the U.S. Secretary of the Interior at the time, as well as a congressional delegation in 1909. By 1911, Governor Walter F. Frear drafted a bill to create “Kilauea National Park”. Boundary disputes stalled the idea, but by 1916 House Resolution 9525 signed by Woodrow Wilson made “Hawaii National Park” the 11th National Park in the United States. In 1960 it was split from the Haleakala National Park that it was a percentage part of. By 2004, an additional 115,788 acres were added to the Park (formerly of Kahuku Ranch) creating the largest land acquisition in Hawaiian history for 21.9 million dollars. A major explosion on March 19, 2008 sent debris over 74 acres damaging the Halema’uma’u overlook. A 1,100 ft lava tube on the park grounds was named after the Thurston family as “Thurston Lava Tube”. Several other hotspots of interest were developed in the Park such as the 1790 Footprints, the Ainapo Trail, Kilauea Caldera Crater, Puna-Ka’u Historic District, Ainahou Ranch, Volcano House, Whitney Seismograph Vault No. 29, Wilkes Campsite, art galleries, Thomas Jaggar Museum, Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, Bookstore, Gift Shop, Kilauea Military Camp, and the Visitor Center. Directions: The main entrance is located off the Hawaii Belt Road in Volcano, Big Island. From the Hawaii Belt Road, one used to be able to take the Chain of Craters Road past several craters to the coast near the town of Kalapana, but recent lava flows and eruptions have demolished the roads near the coastal zone. The park is one of America’s best National Parks. Rating: 5 stars out of 5.


Halema’uma’u Crater / Kilauea Caldera

Continue reading Volcano National Park

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share

Breitenbush River & Detroit Lake, Oregon

Breitenbush River & Detroit Lake, Oregon
Through the Mount Jefferson Wilderness of the enchanting Cascades of Central Oregon lies a spiritual river known as the Breitenbush. It spurs off the North Santiam River in western Oregon draining one of Oregon’s most rugged Cascadian forests just east of Salem. The Breitenbush river comes from several short forks and it is the South Fork Breitenbush River that begins with creeks from Bays and Russell Lake at the elevation of 6,000 ft flowing West-Northwest. The North Fork Breitenbush River is the most popular as it beigns at Breitenbush Lake joining with another fork passing by Pyramid Lake and is where the infamous Breitenbush Hotsprings reside. The North and South forks flow together just east of the community of Breitenbush where they weave together in a wrapping twisting rhythm of love where they join the North Santiam at Detroit; and its lower 2 miles cut what is now Detroit Lake that is created by the Detroit Dam. Detroit Lake is a reservoir created by the Detroit Dam on the North Santiam River. It’s located roughly 46 miles southeast of Oregon’s capital city – Salem. The lake rests atop the old historical road bed of the former Oregon Pacific Railroad which was built by Colonel T. Egenton Hogg. But due to funding issues, the line never made it past Idanha which was southeast of the lake. The lake was created in 1953 with the completion of the dam, washing out where the railroad sat, now holding 455,000 acre-feet of water when full. This 9-mile (14 km) long lake has shoreline of 32 miles (51 km) when full. Its a very popular location for watersports, swimming, jet-skiing, water-skiing, fishing, and boating. Oregon’s Fish and Wildlife stock the dam with over 125,000 catchable rainbow trout, fingerling rainbow, kokanee and chinook salmon. The lake itself breeds a large population of brown bullhead catfish. Detroit Lake is designated as one of the 32 lakes in the United States for recreation as managed by the U.S. Forestry Service. At a surface elevation of 1,450 feet the lake can seasonally rise to 1,569 feet. Definitely a lake I’d like to spend more time at in the future. Beautiful.


Detroit Lake drained during winter

Continue reading Breitenbush River & Detroit Lake, Oregon

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share

Breitenbush Hotsprings



Breitenbush Hotsprings * PO Box 578 * Detroit, OR 97342 *www.breitenbush.com
A very restful and relaxing intentional community and resort nestled in the Oregon wilderness. It is a retreat and a conference center that is worker-owned community that specializing in spiritual retreats and holistic healing. Surrounded by the Willamette National Forest it is indeed a piece of paradise in the woods. It is located 10 miles up in the hills from Detroit, Oregon and about 50 miles away from the capital of Oregon (Salem). The resort was built atop the natural geothermal springs known as the Breitenbush hotsprings which feed into the Breitenbush river. Its a serene and beautiful place with great spots for meditation, healing, and contemplation. It certainly gave me the rest and relaxation I needed for the leg of my pilgrimmage to Faerieworlds. Unfortunately I didn’t take many pictures, as I wasn’t sure what the policy was, and only took pictures when no one was around which was extremely a rare occasion. Especially since it is also a naturalist resort down by the water at least, which is usually symbollic of no-photography. According to the resort, the springs was a frequent gathering place of local tribes. The tribes were apparently pushed out by Hudson’s Bay Company trappers who homesteaded it in 1904. Merle Bruckman purchased the site in 1927 and created the resort. It closed in 1972 after two devastating floods. Purchased in 1977 by Alex Beamer who wanted to host a full time community on site. The community took it over in 1985. The average temperature of the springs subsurface is 356 °F (180 °C) and contains minerals such as sulfate, calcite, analcime, anhydrite, chalcedony, microcline, muscovite, quartz, wairakite, potassium, sodium, magnesium, calcium and lithium. The surface temperature of the springs is about 180 °F (82 °C)—the lower temperature due to heat transfer to cooler rock near the earth’s surface. The buildings at the Springs are heated from one of two of the wells. The retreat and conference center, founded in 1981, is a very counter-culture popular venue for many events, gatherings, festivals, holistic/spiritual/New Age retreats. The grounds has springs, spas, hot mud baths, and saunas – plus a river for cooling off – all clothing optional. There are 7 hot tubs and a sauna open to the guests, and a private one for the workers. The sauna is a small wood house with slatted floors over a hot springs creet that sits 12. There are over 20 miles of hiking trails, rustic cabins, a lodger, tent platforms, a meditative labyrinth, a sanctuary, a gift shop, and a conference center. Services include massage, yoga classes, meditation, community vegetarian dinners, and other healing arts. The community is based on sustainability and generates its own hydropower electricity. Cell phones, televisions, and non-satellite radios do not work and there is no internet. All buildings are heated by geothermal energy. The community runs and manages it year round living on the 154 acre site. There are roughly 50-70 community members. New members are accepted by a community consensus after a year of work and paying a deposit. The place is pretty amazing and definitely one of my new hotspots to visit. Rating: 4 stars out of 5. (August 2009) Another visit, this time during winter towards the end of January in 2010 I found a very pleasant visit with brisk dips in the hotsprings, a steamy sauna, and catching up with friends. The Vegetarian buffet in the main hall was delicious. Definitely a wonderful time. Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5. (1/29/2010)


Me on the Breitenbush River @ Breitenbush Hotsprings

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share